The consensus was: It was looooooong. And a good biopic, but ultimately not that exciting. It did a good job of hitting the marks of the first half of Ray Charles' life -- and you can't help but love the music, which made it go faster.
And that bodes well for our nominated friend, as the production sound engineers on musical films tend to win in their category. (We are all already planning on dropping in on him -- poor guy -- so we can snap our photos holding his prize. He already has an Emmy, which is probably the prettiest of the entertainment trophies -- but Oscar is iconic. And it is the closest I will ever come to one.)
As for Best Picture: Mind you that the only other nominated film we've seen this year was "The Aviator," and if I had to vote between the two, I would pick the former. I think it was a better film. (But from all I've heard, "Million Dollar Baby" has it sewn up. So the best I can hope for with that one is that they finally honor Martin Scorsese. Then again, the experts all think Clint will get another Best Director award this year, and I can't argue with that. I have a friend who has worked with Clint on many films and she absolutely adores him.)
Jamie Foxx was amazing and I look forward to seeing him win his award tonight (much as I love Johnny Depp, I think all the experts are right that his is Foxx's year -- at least, in the Best Actor category).
And I think it's a shame that none of the women in "Ray" received Supporting Actress nods (although I guess that was a crowded field -- the women who did get nominated gave terrific performances by all accounts). I know we'll see more from Kerry Washington -- and I have always loved Regina King, who is good even in bad material (if you don't believe me, watch "A Cinderella Story" with your kids. King is magic.)
BTW -- The next storm is still poised over the Pacific somewhere... but last night we got a reminder of the kind of disaster we actually expect out here, in the form of a teeny tiny earthquake that hit while we were watching the movie. It was only a 2.9 centered a mile southeast of Encino (my husband, the geologist, was on the USGS website almost immediately, because that is what he does). I don't usually even feel them when they are that small and far away... but for some reason, last night we did.
It's been a couple of weeks since Megan and Tanya have had a playdate, so we've invited her family over for a movie night.
While the girls do their own thing (Playstation, movie, whatever their imaginations come up with), we parents are going to view "Ray." A friend of ours did the sound for the film and is nominated for an Oscar this year. Actually, he is a former neighbor of Tim and Debbie's, but his son goes to school with Tanya and all three of our kids were in the same karate classes for a while, so we know him, too -- and will be rooting for him tomorrow night.
I used to enjoy cooking, and I was going to cook tonight -- but planning a meal for this crowd is tricky. I'm on a low-carb diet, Debbie is doing Jenny Craig, Tim and Tanya eat nothing but poultry... so I was going to roast a couple of chickens. But then the thought of actually doing it -- and cleaning the kitchen afterwards -- was too much. Plus, I don't want to be working in the kitchen while everyone else is enjoying the movie. So I picked up munchies (including a veggie tray), salad fixings and dessert... and we'll be ordering in.
I did post a Socal Friday observation about the wide income discrepancy among the populations of Los Angeles... and even received a few comments.
But late last night (as often happens), I had second thoughts about the post. I am usually pretty careful to disguise the identities of people I write about here... but I'm afraid that the details I mentioned in this post were so specific that if these people saw the post, they might be offended -- and I have no intention of offending anyone here.
My husband is of the opinion that I shouldn't write about anyone I know -- "Tim and Debbie are going to stop talking to you," he just told me. They haven't so far, and I know that Debbie does read this occasionally. I'm not too sure she likes it, but she's never come out and objected to anything I've written about her.
The thing is, (contrary to appearances) I'm not interested in writing only about me -- and I don't think anyone else would be either. I have lots of reasons to keep this blog. They include:
1. The process of keeping a journal, which is something I've never been able to do for very long (other than this). I guess the idea of writing down private thoughts that only I could see was never as appealing as getting immediate feedback from an audience. This is probably why I tried to be a TV writer.
2. Developing the discipline necessary to write something that could have some commercial value. Could I have failed as a TV writer because I didn't have the discipline to write every day?? Hmmm...
3. Creating enough snippets of material that could someday be pulled into something I could sell. And this would include my observations of the world around me - and that includes the people I know. Sorry, folks.
On the surface, the life I lead today is pretty dull - but I have a lot of turmoil going on inside. I think that's a problem with writers, that we are a little bit schizo in that we always have these interior conversations no one else can hear while we try to work things out in our heads. (Does any of this make sense?)
Right now, life is fairly smooth. The only problems I really have are financial in nature, and those problems are pretty superficial -- they can be solved (the question of how best to do that is another matter). But when I was younger, I lived with a lot of drama -- things I have never put to paper because I did not want to hurt people. I still don't want to hurt anyone -- but I recognize that all the writers I admire built on raw material from their own lives.
So this is a place to start -- and I will continue to write about what I know -- even if some of it ends up in a private place...